Archive for Apocalyptic
Given the recent discussions of the apocalyptic perspective of Paul, I found interesting the following sentence by Stephen Fowl in Paul, Philosophy, and the Theopolitical Vision (ed. Douglas Harink), a forthcoming volume in our Theopolitical Visions series that I am currently working on.
These apocalyptic accounts of Paul are a persistent reminder that both scholars and Christians have a tendency to domesticate Paul and his writings, gathering supposed conceptual and religious antecedents to central Pauline terminology so that he appears to be little more than a small tremor on the theological terrain, something you can feel, but which does not bring down buildings (Fowl, “A Very Particular Universalism”).
I’ve been slowly making my way through Douglas Harink’s Paul among the Postliberals: Pauline Theology beyond Christendom and Modernity (Brazos, 2003)—slowly, not because I am digesting it deeply, but because I have little time for reading these days and so I can only get at the book in fits and starts.
Harink writes well and clearly. And, his project is impressive, crossing disciplinary boundaries easily. He is able to address issues with both the traditional and the new perspectives on Paul. The criticisms of the traditional perspective are well worn. Harink’s criticism of the New Perspective, on the other hand, is fresh because he does not march out the old soldiers from the traditional view. Instead, he writes things like the following: